Assisted Suicide: A Question of Murder or Compassion? Argumentative Essay by SBurtis

Assisted Suicide: A Question of Murder or Compassion?
An argument against those who call physician assisted suicide an act of murder.
# 152679 | 2,326 words | 5 sources | APA | 2013 | US
Published on Apr 15, 2013 in Law (Historic Trials) , Hot Topics (Euthanasia) , Ethics (General)

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The paper discusses the controversy surrounding the issue of assisted suicide and points out that the major ethical question that comes into play is whether assisted suicide is contrary to the code of conduct expected by medical professionals. The paper looks at the Hippocratic Oath and highlights the compassion in helping a terminally ill patient commit suicide. Next, the paper discusses the hypocrisy of those who call animal euthanasia a blessing, but forbid human beings to choose their fate when terminally ill and employ the assistance of another human being in ensuring their suffering ends. Furthermore, the paper argues that right and wrong is subjective in many cases, and in the case of assisted suicide, medical professionals and other caregivers, acting on their own judgment and the requests of the dying, have done what they feel is right, in spite of society's standards. The paper concludes by asserting that if compassion is the right action by society's standards, then how can we declare assisted suicide to be wrong?

The Hippocratic Oath
Compassionate Care and Modern Considerations
Right vs. Wrong

From the Paper:

"The assisted suicide debate in the United States has continued for more than 20 years. Proponents and opponents alike cite numerous reasons why it is right or wrong. These arguments lie in political, legal, ethical, and religious bases, often failing to consider the patient's right to die - on their own terms - and the fact that human euthanasia is more about killing the pain and suffering rather than killing the person. Yet, these are the arguments that often come up when criminal defense attorneys are called to action, justifying the assisting party in a court of law.
"Over the years, the moniker "Angel of Death" has fallen on the heads of those guilty of taking a patient's life. However, little to no distinction has been offered between those who truly murdered those under their care and those who assisted patients in ending their suffering at the patients' request. Regardless of the reason, the law identifies assisted suicide in much the same way as murder, and those who have compassion enough to assist their patients with this final request, more often than not, pay for it by spending some time in prison and gaining notoriety for doing that which they felt was right."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Cruz, T. L. (n.d.). Death with Dignity Laws--Exploring the Impact Physician-Assisted Suicide has on Families. Kaplan University. Retrieved March 9, 2013, from
  • Jack Kevorkian Biography. (n.d.). Retrieved March 9, 2013, from
  • Suicide in the medically and terminally ill: ... [J Clin Psychol. 2000] - PubMed - NCBI. (n.d.). National Center for Biotechnology Information. Retrieved March 9, 2013, from
  • Tyson, P. (2001, March 27). The Hippocratic Oath Today. NOVA. Retrieved March 9, 2013, from
  • Whiting, Raymond (2002). A Natural Right to Die: Twenty-Three Centuries of Debate. Westport, Connecticut.

Cite this Argumentative Essay:

APA Format

Assisted Suicide: A Question of Murder or Compassion? (2013, April 15) Retrieved March 03, 2024, from

MLA Format

"Assisted Suicide: A Question of Murder or Compassion?" 15 April 2013. Web. 03 March. 2024. <>